Review Of The Wouxun KG 669 mono band HT

“Thanks for buying wouxun brand KG-669 series transceiver. This transceiver is novel in design, strong function, stable behavior and easily operate, we believe the quality and function of the product will make you satisfying”.

Whew! Those are the first two opening statements of the user manual. So, with that in mind, the stage is set for the body of the manual and the product itself. Before continuing, I want to be honest and say that a friend of mine actually purchased this HT. However, we spent quite a few hours together trying to translate the contents of the Wouxun manual to be made “satisfying” and apply it to the “strong function, stable behavior and easily operate” HT.

An exact excerpt from the Wouxun Web site: “Established in 2000, located in Quanzhou city Jiangnan high technology industry zoon. Quanzhou Wouxun Electronics Co. Ltd is the professional developer, manufacturer and marketer WOUXUN brand serial wireless interphone, intercom battery, battery charger etc, communication apparatus. Since establishing ,we have offered the countless new products of communication of high quality and at a reasonable price to the …”. I never knew that “professional companies” establish themselves in the “zoon”. So much for the “professional company’s ability” to afford English translated spell-check software.

When the box arrived, it was marked “TOY” on the outside. We both began to wonder if that is how shipment of these and similar radios are able to bypass FCC regulations and TYPE A acceptance. I feel that the radio should be treated as a toy and used only as a receiver. Personally, I would not want to jeopardize my FCC license by transmitting with one of these “toys”.

Wouxun Kg-669 HTNow that the company background and my personal disclaimer is out of the way, I’d have to begin by saying the general feel of the radio is good, rather solid actually and far better than we anticipated. Delivery took about 10 days and the purchase included a desk charger, belt clip and hand strap.

The first feature (feature?) one might want to change is the rather annoying female voice mimicking your every move. Changing this “feature” from Jiangnan dialect to accented English makes it tolerable, at least to a point. In my opinion the translated voice sounds much like a 15 year old girl with an accent and fully clogged nasal passages. In reality, after the novelty wears off, I’d just disable it, even if that required heating up the soldering iron. Next I should mention that the advertising is deceiving and you may get the impression that these are “DUAL BAND” radios. Look over this “feature” list and note the “Output power” description:

DTMFencoding and DTMFdecoding
. Output power VHF 5W/UHF 4W
. VOX (Level adjustable)
. 105 groups D.C.S/50 groups CTCSS
. Allcall, groupcall and selectcall.
. ANI (Caller ID)
. Scrambler available(Optional accessory)
. 128 memory channels and 1 group emergency channel
. Voice guide (Chinese /English)
. Channel steps(5K/6.25K/10K/12.5K/25K)
. Wide/Narrow bandwidthselection (12.5KHz/25KHz)
. Three color back light can be selectable .
. 1200mAh Li-ion batterypack and intelligent charge
. Frequency/Channel/Frequency+Channel display mode
. Multi scan mode(TO/CO/SE)
. Calling ring and ring overtime auto answer
. Multi silent mode(QT/QTADT/QTXDT)
. Alarm/Emergency calling
. Keyboard lock(Auto/Manual)
. Talk around function
. Busy channel lockout
. Programmable by computer
. Menu/Channel reset
. FMradio function
. Car charger (Optional accessory)

One begins to notice things that seem rather odd. Scrambler mode (which requires an optional chip) and FM radio. The impression I get here is that these radios are most probably used on job sites for scrambled two way communication. I have visions of various “groups” here in the US and other locations around the world buying up bunches of these “toys” with the optional scrambler chip, then transmitting god knows what type of messages on the 2 meter band. I just hope it’s my own personal paranoia and that it never actually becomes reality.

Be careful if you do decide to key up transmitter. In our area some of the police frequencies are above the Amateur 2 Meter band allocation and the radio is fully capable of transmitting there as well. Programming the 669 was difficult. Together, I’d say we have a combined experience of 25 years buying and selling a very long list of equipment. But, this “toy” sadly beat us into submission. No matter how many times we went through the skimpy and horribly translated user manual, we were unable to get the memory channels properly loaded. As it turned out, programming the repeater output, input, CTCSS tone, repeater splits independently and then storing ALL the information into the selected memory channel is how to beat the memory storage problem! Oh yes, just one more thing as an example of “toy” status; Switching the radio between “frequency mode” (VFO) and “channel mode” (Memory) requires powering the radio off and then on with the menu button held down.

In conclusion, for a few more dollars, go out and purchase a brand name mono-band radio which you know is FCC type accepted. Get yourself an easily understandable user manual and avoid being annoyed by the design flaws and silly features of a “toy”.

A copy of the Wouxun KG-669 User Guide

Remote Desktop Experiments or Running Your Ham Gear While on Travel – Part 2

As you know from Part One of this rant, I was experimenting with a free product called Log Me In from logmein.com. Surprisingly enough, I found that I also had full remote desktop functionality while using Log Me In from my HP RX4240 hand held. I simply pointed my good old (cough – choke – sputter) IE (Internet Destroyer as I like to call it) Browser which is of course embedded in Windows Mobile 5 and Presto! Well, almost… Once I logged into the Log Me In Site, and it detected that I was running IE, (can’t see any other way of it knowing) I was asked to install a module on the RX4240. The installation of the module was flawless and nearly transparent. I was then presented with the usual Log Me In web page as I would on any local desktop. I simply clicked the link to my remote desktop with the stylus and was presented with the remote desktop user name and password.

Once logged in, I had full control. As I recall, the first time I was prompted to also select a new, local desktop background. The only minor issue encountered was scrolling. Log Me In accounted for scrolling around the remote desktop by simply using the stylus pen. By pressing it lightly against the edges (corners or sides) of the hand held window caused the the remote screen to scroll around quickly. To my surprise, the response time was very good even over my 802g WIFI connection. Log Me In provides options which can be chosen in a mini menu bar displayed at the top of the screen. The free version offers functions to alter the screen size, scale to fit, zoom, screen rotation (90 deg), to pop up the hand held keyboard and a scroll lock function (and exit of course). A correction from part one. Only remote control is offered in the free version. As I may have mentioned, there are may more options available in the PRO version.

Testing Echolink was basically the same as it was in Part One. See Part One for details. Skype came to the rescue again to cover the audio part of connection. I’d like to hear from anyone who tries these or similar combinations. Perhaps there is someone who has the equipment to try this combination of software to run their BIG RIG while at work, away on business or on vacation.

Remote Desktop Experiments or Running Your Ham Gear While on Travel – Part 1

This past weekend I was experimenting with a free product called Log Me In from logmein.com. Log Me In is simple to set up and the only requirement for a download of the free software is to create a general user account. No specific information is required except a user name, password and email address. Specific information is of course required to purchase the rather pricey “PRO” version. One caveat, be sure to download and install the free version, otherwise you will see that you will be running the “free 90 day PRO trial”. If this happens to you, log into their site and change the account type back to the free version.

The premise behind Log Me In is that you “link” your home or other Windows desktop with Log Me In. Once your home system is linked, you will have remote control of your desktop as well as file transfer and printing capabilities. When accessing these features, your desktop user name and password are required as an additional level of security. Response time while manipulating the desktop was more than acceptable. During my first “test” my bandwidth was over cable but, based on my second experiment which will be in PART TWO, I suspect the bandwidth of DSL is more than sufficient.

The free version offers remote desktop, printing and file transfers. As you may already suspect, the PRO version offers many more options. One of those missing components of the free version is transferring sound over to the remote computer. Once again it’s free software to the rescue! You may have heard of or already use Skype. Again, Skype is simple to set up and there are only two “tricks” to using it in a remote scenario like this. First, create one user account for your home desktop and a different account for your remote computer. Second, set up the home desktop Skype to “Auto Answer” incoming calls. This setting is found under tools/options/call settings/advanced section. That way you can simply call yourself.

My first test was to use Log me In conjunction with Skype to run Echolink from my remote location (work). Of course this could also be used to run your BIG RIG with CAT software, etc. To accomplish this:

  • Assuming that Log Me In and Skype are properly installed on both systems:
    • Call your home desktop via Skype.
    • Access Log me In and log in via the Remote Desktop option.
    • When your home desktop is displayed, run Echolink as you normally would.
      • You may have to use the lightning bolt of the Echolink menu bar to switch between transmit and receive since the remote space bar doesn’t cut it! You may have better luck than I did…

Stay tuned for PART TWOUsing my handheld RX4240 with Skype and Log me In.